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Show Preview: GEMS

Mini geology lesson: before a diamond gemstone can form, it must first endure a terribly long process wrought with scorching temperatures and enormous intensities of pressure.

GEMS, a rising electronic-pop duo from D.C. is rupturing from the earth’s surface, encapsulating this very phenomenon. Lindsay Pitts and Clifford John Usher are no strangers to the music scene. Before GEMS, they performed and toured around the country for five years under the name “Birdlips” making genre-bending psychedelic-folk which was met with prominent, but limited success. They sought change.

Flash forward to 2012, Pitts and Usher later discovered within themselves a brand in which they saw potential and authenticity – GEMS. They took a break from the nomadic lifestyle as touring musicians in order to revitalize their craft. Busting out a trusty laptop with some recording software, the duo embarked on a new musical endeavor, entering the realm of electronic-pop with an individual, signature style. They put a few tracks up on Soundcloud and quickly noticed an upward trajectory of plays, as well as appearances on a variety of music blogs. GEMS was finally shining.

GEMS delivers in sculpting dark and brooding melodies over fine and delicate lyrics. And, when coupled with a sonic mixture of explosive synths and adrenalized beats, one cannot help but get down and feel their emotional cries. Their latest single, “Soak” offers a moving dialogue between two ex-lovers, with Pitts breaking down in melodic frustration towards the end, “How do I breathe without you / How do I say this to you?” Check it out below:



GEMS’ debut album, Kill the One You Love, is out 10/30. We’re so excited to partner up with Hype Machine to present them at Max Cellar, a live music space and bar just downstairs of Bushwick’s 24-hour Amancay’s Diner. The freshly built 200-capacity venue has already housed dozens of gigs for a lot of local NYC talent, but GEMS is arguably the biggest name yet to perform under its roof.

Just imagine – one day, GEMS will be doing big plays up and down the festival circuit, and you’ll say, “I remember seeing them in Max Cellar in like 2015.”

Nate Poblete

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